ESPN's "MMA Live Extra," host Prim Siripipat along with analysts Chuck Mindenhall and T.R. Foley have made a list of the 5 fighters whom they rate as the top-5 wrestlers currently competing in MMA. It's important to note that this isn't a list of the MMA fighters with the best amateur wrestling credentials, rather it's a list of those fighters who use wrestling techniques to the most advantage in their MMA bouts.
Here's their list:
- Georges St. Pierre
Ironically GSP never competed as an amateur wrestler although he has trained pretty seriously with the Canadian Olympic wrestling team. One thing the ESPN crew doesn't mention is how much of GSP's wrestling success is down to his ability to set up take downs with strikes.
- Daniel Cormier
The former US Olympic wrestling team member impressed in winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight grand prix. Soon we'll find out how he'll fare in the UFC. First he has to fight Dutchman Dion Staring at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine in January.
- Ben Askren
The Bellator champ and former Olympian has made no bones about being a one-trick pony. The take down is his game and he's sticking with it. Although Askren has shown some hints of submission ability, he's yet to start tapping fools right and left. Why tap 'em when you can hold 'em down for 5 rounds and take home another decision?
- Chris Weidman
The injured UFC Middleweight contender impressed with his demolition of decorated amateur wrestler Mark Munoz. Now he's dealing with injuries and hoping against hope that champ Anderson Silva will bless him with a title shot.
- Jon Fitch
The man's name is rapidly becoming an action verb meaning "you got laid and prayed." The moral of the story? If you don't want to get Fitch'd, learn to wrestle.
Who are your top 5 MMA wrestlers?